Dentures can change lives
The A1 Smile Clinic has recently branched out to Oamaru and is now operating from premises in Coquet St. The clinic’s motto is ‘‘Improving quality of life with affordable dentures’’.
False teeth go back to ancient times, with the use of various materials – animal or human teeth, whale bone, ivory, gold, lead, rubber, wood (George Washington anyone?) – replacing lost natural teeth.
Artificial teeth have been found in Egyptian tombs and a skull in an Etruscan tomb dating back to 500 BC contained a bridge of ox teeth held together with gold rings.
In this wonderful age of plastics we are blessed with material known as acrylic to make dentures fit well into our gums with comfort and security.
John Choi is a New Zealand trained clinical dental technician who specialises in making full or partial dentures and appliances such as mouthguards. He can also repair or reline old dentures to provide a better fit.
John loves seeing his patients’ self-confidence restored with a winning smile and the joy of wearing well-fitting dentures. ‘‘If you can’t eat properly, if it gives you agony, it really affects your quality of life.’’
Cost can be a worry when considering new dentures or repairs but, as John points out, WINZ quotes, insurance inquiries and other financial options are available.
‘‘It doesn’t always cost as much as people think.’’
The A1 Smile Clinic offers a free consultation to allow clients to make an informed decision. ‘‘Our pricings are quite compatible with those of competitors and, while conditions apply, we are happy to match other price offers.’’
Dentures can be made from impressions and jaw measurements but John says he can do a better job if clients see him in person. Some patients are referred by dentists but this is not necessary.
After-care is included without extra cost, as people often need to come back for adjustments to their dentures. The mouth continues to change and dentures may need to be relined to adapt to the changing tissues.
The longer people put up with a denture problem, the more difficult it becomes. ‘‘It makes my job harder,’’ says John. ‘‘It’s best if people come in earlier so we can resolve it a lot quicker.’’
Ointments and liquids containing local anaesthetic can give relief but John urges people to get better fitting dentures instead. ‘‘If you’re having trouble you shouldn’t put up with it. Anything can be changed.
‘‘Come and see me for a free check-up without any financial obligations.’’ Different materials for partials
‘‘If people have a few teeth missing, say one or two, it is best to use a flexible partial.’’
‘‘When the remaining teeth are questionable, I recommend a plastic partial as it’s
more easily added to or adjusted.’’
‘‘Ideally, if people have good teeth and they’ve got quite a good condition in the mouth I would definitely recommend metal partials as they’re more comfortable, they fit better. The metal partials are the most costly.’’
Looking after your dentures
Dentures require maintenance to avoid inflamed gums, jaw dysfunctions, eating difficulties and facial deformity.
Do brush regularly twice a day, if possible after each meal
Do take dentures off at night to give gums a rest and allow saliva to moisten, heal and supply nutrients
Do make a habit to fill the basin with water to avoid an accidental drop when removing dentures
Do soak dentures overnight in dilute mixture of vinegar and water to avoid drying out or becoming brittle
Don’t panic if you break your dentures, but collect the pieces and take them to the dental laboratory for repair
Don’t attempt to repair broken dentures with household glue, as this makes it more difficult to fix in clinic
Don’t use bleach as this reacts chemically with acrylics, use soap and water or refer for clinic stain removal
Top smile: John Choi of A1 Smile Clinic offering great service with a smile!